x

Society

New York’s COVID Surge Is Back — And so Is Its Mask Mandate

December 10, 2021

NEW YORK — Facing a winter surge in COVID-19 infections, New York Gov Kathy Hochul announced Friday that masks will be required in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

Hochul said the decision to reinstitute a mask mandate was based on state’s weekly seven-day case rate, as well as increasing hospitalizations. New York enacted a mask mandate at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020 that lasted more than a year.

The new mask mandate applies to both patrons and staff and will be in effect from Monday to Jan. 15, after which the state will reevaluate.

“We’re entering a time of uncertainty and we could either plateau here or our cases could get out of control,” Hochul warned at a public appearance in New York City.

New York joins several states with similar indoor mask mandates, including Washington, Oregon, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada and Hawaii.

The state recorded more than 68,000 positive tests for the virus in the seven-day period that ended Wednesday. That’s the most in any seven-day stretch since the start of February. The surge is especially pronounced in some areas of upstate New York, which has accounted for nearly three-fourths of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospitals since August.

“We are heading upward in a direction that I no longer find sustainable,” Hochul said.

Hochul announced the mask mandate at a social service agency in on the west side of Manhattan, where most people already wear masks. New York City requires vaccinations for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment and gyms, so those venues will be unaffected by the new rule.

Several upstate New York counties have recently enacted mask mandates as well, including Erie County, which includes Buffalo.

Hochul said violators could face civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000. Local health departments will be in charge of enforcing the requirements.

RELATED

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) — The explosive growth of the second-largest wildfire in Texas history slowed as winds and temperatures dipped but the massive blaze was still untamed and threatening more death and destruction.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Firefighters Seek to Corral Massive Texas Wildfires Before Weekend of Higher Temperatures and Winds

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) — The explosive growth of the second-largest wildfire in Texas history slowed as winds and temperatures dipped but the massive blaze was still untamed and threatening more death and destruction.

NEW YORK – Greek-American Ellie Falaris Ganelin, gifted musician and Greek Chamber Music Project Director, announced a special replay of a concert to be broadcast on Leap Day, February 29.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – In an emotionally charged atmosphere, the parish of Holy Trinity-St.

ATHENS – The remarkable life of the Cretan-born master painter El Greco was presented in the opera performed February 13-20 at the Megaron Mousikis – Athens Concert Hall.

The following words – written by Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley and published by that newspaper on February 11 – had such an effect on me that I felt compelled to share them with you: “When I stepped outside the Journal’s Midtown Manhattan offices shortly after 8 PM Thursday, I entered a crime scene.